Edit 1: Installed the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 CPU Cooler. Result: Much less noise and lower idle temp as well as never above 63 degrees when CPU stress testing. Also got to keep my cpu intake dust filter, it fit perfectly on the ASUS Strix Z270!
Hi everyone! After two months of thoroughly researching the web on the intricacies of building a m-ITX gaming PC, I finally came around to buying the case and getting down to it! So excited!
I use this as my main PC in my small apartment, so I wanted something that could play most games and not take up too much space or give guests the impression I'm aspiring to go to Mars.
Case: The Fractal Node 202 is in my opinion the best looking m-ITX case that fits a full-size GPU, fell in love with it quickly and have not found anything I liked as much as it since!
CPU: I did not want to stress the case too much heat-wise, so I opted out of the i7's. I mostly game so I think I will be happy with the Kaby Lake i5. Not going to overclock so I went with the non-K to further decrease heat.
I ordered a Big Shuriken 2 but it still hasn't arrived so I'm running the Intel stock cooler and the temps are great but it does make a little bit of noise (the loudest thing in my case).
Motherboard: Planned on buying a H270 chipset motherboard but
I had issues finding a supplier
I'm an ASUS fanboy and would prefer their board, and they did not make m-ITX with H270-chipset
The double M.2 NVMe slots and 3 fan headers (1x CPU, 1x AIO pump, 1x case fan) makes things easier
The quality of every little thing on the ASUS Z270 Strix is incredible and makes you happy when everything else goes to hell
PSU: I wanted a modular SFX powert supply from Corsair due to the fantastic reviews on noise, build quality and efficiency. It also makes cable management easier and better looking with the all black cables.
According to the Cooler Master PSU Calculator my system would peak at 268 W and it recommended 318 W to be safe. The SF450 is said to be quieter and will run on a nice point on its efficiency curve in my system.
Graphics Card: I recycled my GTX970 Strix from my old mid-tower and so far the temperatures are great during BF1 and Witcher 2, the to demanding titles I've tried so far. Maxed out at 67 C.
The build: My second build ever and the last one was almost ten years ago and in a big Fractal R5. I had big ambitions for cable management but it was harder than it looked! It was however a great case to build in, I enjoyed it and everything worked on the first try! I believe the modular PSU helped a lot.
I used two Corsair Static Pressure 120mm fans under the bulgy Strix card, and it fits, but it's close. I had to insert a tiny plastic clip to create a few more mm between the fans and the card to keep the GPU fans from scraping against its surroundings.
I also used a single metal wire diagonally across the two chassi fans to keep the dust filter from getting sucked into the fans, as I did not want to have to stick the dust filter on the outside of the chassi.
I ended up adding a dust filter on the inside of the top vent that is facing the roof when having the case vertically.
In the future:
- Painting the case white with Plasti Dip
- Installing the Big Shuriken CPU fan when it arrives from the supplier